You remember ol’ Croydon, eh?

The Mikeification of Jimmy Hendrix continues apace.

Begin the thawing of Jim Nabors!

Yeah… something like that.

I have a long weekend!  Hooray!  I booked Friday off!  Hooray!  I have a fucking cold!  Hooray!

And I have a fever too.  When I get fevers, I get a stupid amount of stuff done.  I’ve read volumes of books before while delirious with fever… I’ve done all kinds of computer stuff while feverish, and now I’m having a fit of furious mikeification while feverish.

And I’ve gotten a good half of those Jimi Hendrix albums done.  Hooray!

I won’t say hooray any more.  Sorry about that.

I do feel that I should relay some very funny stories now.  These stories will probably identify my “Robotman” persona to some people I know… if they ever search Google that closely… but whatthefuckever.  They’re funny, so I’ll tell them.

Actually, it’s only one story… really.  And here it is.

At my last job, some stock came in with a certain pattern called “Croydon”.  Croydon is a town near London, England.  That’s probably the last time this story will stay firmly rooted in reality.

My coworker was trying to find where we kept the “Croydon” pattern stock, and he called out to me “Where the fuck does the Croydon go?”  I immediately answered “That must be a special order.  But it totally sounds like some heavy metal band.”

And that, my friends, is how the greatest heavy metal band on Earth was born.

Being a silly goof-off, and my coworker being the same, we decided to have fun with it.  This began by simply relating their legendary exploits.  The days of drinking and debauchery while gigging around the motorways of England.  The nights of ear-splitting rock n’ roll from riotous concerts throughout the world.  The excess.  The drugs.  The groupies.  The notorious 45-minute drum solos.

Croydon became a caricature of cheesy 80s metal… a cross between Iron Maiden and Judas Priest with a generous dose of Spinal Tap thrown in for good measure.

And it was all so funny to us, that we just couldn’t keep it to ourselves.  So we decided to ask other people:

“So… you remember ol’ Croydon, eh?”

We were quite serious when we asked this.  Working as receivers in a warehouse, we asked the truck drivers this question – time permitting.  Astoundingly, about HALF of the truck drivers we asked said “yes”.  Not only did 50% of these guys admit to remembering the existence of a band that never existed, some of them had fond memories of them!

This was too good to forget.  We laughed our asses off at these people.  Some of the more enthusiastic responders became known by us and some other people we worked with as Croydon’s biggest fans.  We even dubbed one guy “Uncle Croydon”.

Among the best responses were:

The long-haired stoner dude, who responded to “It’s the first time they’ve played here for 15 years!” with “Dude!  I was at that show!”

The old trucker from the U.S. who calmly and matter-of-factly said “I saw them open up for the Eagles… back when they were nobody.”

The old toothless mover who enthusiastically proclaimed “Back then, you couldn’t walk into a bar in Calgary without hearing ol’ Croydon on the juke box!”

Uncle Croydon gave us our favourite reply.  After he had admitted to remembering them, he paused and said “I’m just trying to remember one of their hit singles…”  I said “Eat the Steel?”, and he gleefully said “Eat the Steel!  That’s the one!”

And the guy wearing a “West Coast Choppers” shirt.  When my coworker complimented him on it, the trucker told us how expensive it had been.  When my coworker said “Just like my Croydon shirt.”, the trucker said “Wow!  They’re still around?”

Then there was Karl.  Oh, Karl.  He used to work with me, then got fired and hired by the moving company who did most of our delivery work.  While he was with that other company, I asked him the question.  His immortal response: “Yeah, I’ve heard some of their songs.  I just don’t like them.”

So for Karl, I made a copy of “Advance and Vanquish” by 3 Inches of Blood and labelled it “Inbred Junkie” by Croydon.  When I saw him next, he said “I’m impressed.  Croydon’s really good.”

Of COURSE they’re really good!  Do you think half the truck drivers in this town would remember them so fondly and vividly if they sucked?

Some extremely funny responses came from those who didn’t remember them too.  Like Jeff… who simply answered “No.  Is this a joke?”

And the truck driver who – obviously running behind and in a hurry – was preparing his paperwork while we asked him the question and told him that the upcoming concert would be their first show here in 15 years.   When we said “You know who’s gonna be opening up for them?  KISS!”, he stopped shuffling his paperwork, looked up at us and tersely said “KISS huh?  Sign here.”

Good times, good times.  I think tomorrow I’ll post about the fictional history and mythology of Croydon.  I actually have a few web pages that I made for a Croydon website.  I never got around to posting it online, but it features a partial discography and band biography.

And one of these days, I’m gonna make a few Croydon t-shirts with their classic 80s “metal” logo.

Stay tuned!

Oh, and that “second” story… We did the same thing a handful of times with “Big Joe Clapton”.  He was remembered, too.